Many employers use telephone interviews as an initial screening for applicants. A successful phone interview is thus sometimes a necessary step in landing a job. For the most part, you should prepare for a phone interview in the same way you would an in-person interview. However, there are a few important differences, as well as some things that are crucial to remember. Observing these tips will help you ace your telephone interview.
- Treat a phone interview as seriously as an in-person interview. This is still an interview. It is a formal interaction, not a casual one. Give the call your complete attention. Don’t try to multi-task; it goes without saying that you shouldn’t eat or smoke, for example, but don’t check your email either.
- Prepare like you would for an in-person interview. Do everything you would normally do for an in-person interview: research the employer, prepare answers to common interview questions, know your strengths and weaknesses, etc.
- Be ready for the call. A little preparation can go a long way. You should have key documents in front of you, including the job description, your resume and cover letter, and notes on particular past accomplishments or projects you expect to be asked about. Have a cheat sheet ready with answers to common interview questions. You should also have a list of the main points you want to get across during the call, such as qualifications you wish to emphasize. Don’t forget to also take care of the more mundane aspects of preparation, such as being ready to take the call at the agreed time (if there is one), and having phone interruptions like call waiting and text message notifications disabled.
- Smile. This might sound silly, but it’s not! You can hear when someone is smiling on the phone. Smiling makes you sound more upbeat, positive and confident. This is especially important in a phone interview, because your voice is so crucial since the interviewer can’t see your body language. One trick is to place a mirror where you will take the call – but make sure to try this in advance, as you might find it distracting!
- Maintain good posture. The same reasons for smiling also applies to your posture. You should sit up straight, or even stand if you are more comfortable. You should certainly never slouch or lay down, as it will affect your voice, as well as your confidence.
- Never interrupt. While this is a best practice at any interview, it is doubly important on the phone! Not only does interrupting show a lack of respect for the interviewer, it also breaks the flow of the conversation, which can put you off your game, and the interviewer just off in general.
- Ask about the next steps before the call ends. If an in-person interview hasn’t already been scheduled by the end of the call, find out when you should contact them about a follow-up interview. Be sure to get contact information. Also, don’t forget to re-express your interest in the position.
Please be advised that the information in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice on any subject matter. As with all legal issues, we recommend you consult your lawyer. Accordingly, ZSA Legal Recruitment Limited will bear no liability to the reader, in any form. There are no representations or warranties made as to the accuracy or substantive adequacy of any information provided in this article.